CHICAGO FIRE FACE SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC IN FREDDIE LJUNGBERG’S RETURN TO QWEST FIELD
A raucous atmosphere and a sold out Qwest Field will set the scene as the Chicago Fire (6-6-6, 24 points) face their second consecutive Western Conference opponent and third match in eleven days when they head to Seattle to face Seattle Sounders FC (8-8-5, 29 points) at Qwest Field on Saturday, Aug. 28 at 9:30 PM CT (Comcast SportsNet).
The match marks the return of Freddie Ljungberg to the Emerald City. The former Sounder has made an immediate impact for the Fire, tallying three assists in his first four matches with the Men in Red. Since becoming the first Designated Player traded in MLS history, Ljungberg has sparked the Fire to a 2-1-1 record, helping the club to score eight goals over the course of the four-game span.
CHICAGO FIRE at Seattle Sounders FC
- This is the third meeting between the two clubs. The previous two tilts resulted in draws, the first, a 1-1 tie as Marco Pappa and Tyrone Marshall scored in the opening leg May 2, 2009 at TOYOTA PARK. Neither side found the back of the net as the Fire defense held strong in the 0-0 draw at Qwest Field July 25, 2009.
- Ljungberg is one of the founding members of Seattle Sounders FC. In Seattle’s 2009 season, the dynamic midfielder led the club to their first MLS Cup Playoff appearance, tallying two goals and nine assists on his way to a MLS Best XI selection in his first year in the league.
- Fire forward Calen Carr returned from injury to tally two goals in his first two games back from a quadriceps injury. Before scoring the game winning goal in the Fire’s 2-1 victory over New England Aug. 18, the fleet forward had not appeared in a regular season match since Oct. 17 of 2009. Ljungberg has played helper on both of Carr’s goals.
- The Fire (18 games, 24 points) have played the least amount of MLS league games to date. The Fire (fourth place in the Eastern Conference) have games in hand on Eastern Conference leaders – Toronto FC (20 games, 26 points), Red Bull New York (21 games, 34 points) and Columbus Crew (21 games, 40 points).
- Chicago Fire defender Wilman Conde will miss Saturday’s match due to Yellow Card suspension.
- The Fire are 5-0-2 when scoring the first goal and 1-6-3 when allowing the first goal.
CHICAGO FIRE COMPETE IN OFF FIELD CAMPAIGN TO IMPACT CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club is asking fans to join them in making a difference in the Chicagoland community. As part of the Pepsi Refresh Project, the Fire will partner with Chicago Public Schools to sponsor the first ever health, wellness and education festival designed to motivate Chicago youths to stay in school by providing tools to maintain a healthy, happy and productive school year. The Fire will compete against MLS’ 15 other teams, vying for fan votes and an ultimate $50,000 Pepsi Refresh grant to fulfill the club’s Pepsi Refresh initiative, which will effectively impact 10,000 Chicago Public School students. Running through Monday, September 20 at 10:59 PM CT, fans can cast their votes at www.MLSsoccer.com/PepsiRefresh.
“The Pepsi Refresh Project allows for our fans to make a positive impact on the Chicago community,” said Chicago Fire forward Brian McBride. “Fans are encouraged to support the Fire, and vote, as we strive to assist 10,000 Chicago Public School students through the Pepsi Refresh Project.”
Should the Chicago Fire be chosen as the 2010 Pepsi Refresh Project winner, 10,000 Chicago Public School students will receive school supply kits and all the key health screenings needed to keep them focused and motivated throughout the school year.
CHICAGO FIRE SIGN MIDFIELDER VICTOR PINEDA AS THE CLUB’S FIRST EVER HOME GROWN PLAYER
The Chicago Fire Soccer Club signed midfielder Victor Pineda to a professional contract as the club’s first ever home grown player. Pineda will train with the club full-time and is available for first team selection by Fire Head Coach Carlos de los Cobos. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Pineda becomes the first home grown player to sign with the Fire since the inception of the Major League Soccer Home Grown Player Initiative in 2007. The Home Grown Player Initiative was established as part of Major League Soccer’s ongoing efforts to improve the quality of play. Pineda will not count against the 24-man roster and will fill one of the two additional roster spots added by the league for home grown players identified and developed by the local club.
“We are very excited to have Victor join the Chicago Fire,” said Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas. “Victor is a talented, technical midfielder who has a bright future with the Fire. His addition to the first team is representative of the Fire’s commitment to the future and to our player development system. I want to thank our owner, Andrew Hauptman, for the significant commitment he’s made to our player development system and to building our club. Our ability to elevate a player like Victor to the first team starts at the top and with Andrew’s support we’ll continue to add new home grown players to our roster.”
Pineda joins the first team after emerging from the Fire’s Player Development system. The
Bolingbrook, Illinois product spent two seasons with the Chicago Fire Juniors and three seasons with the Chicago Fire Academy. While with the CFA, he tallied eight goals and two assists in 30 games played, helping the club to become the first MLS academy team to win the U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s U16 National Championship in 2010.
HIT THE LINKS WITH FRANK KLOPAS AND THE CHICAGO FIRE
The Chicago Fire, in conjunction with the Chicago Fire Foundation, will host the 10th Annual Frank Klopas Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Outing on Monday, September 20 at the Ravisloe Country Club in Homewood, IL. Registration is open from 8:30 – 9:15 AM CT followed by a shotgun start at 9:30 AM CT.
The celebrity golf outing gives an exciting opportunity for fans to interact with the 2010 Chicago Fire team. Each foursome will play 18 holes of golf with a Chicago Fire player or coach in a scramble format. The event includes a continental breakfast, 18 holes of golf, a cart and lunch with a cocktail reception and buffet dinner to follow. The day-long event will conclude with a silent auction, raffle and the awarding of the day’s prizes.
Fans interested in attending can secure a spot for $275 per golfer, $880 per foursome or enjoy dinner and reception only for $100 each. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. All contributions are tax deductible. Space is limited and this event will sell out. Money raised at the event benefits the Chicago Fire Foundation, which enriches the quality of life of the Chicagoland community, particularly its youth, and continues to support organizations whose programs fall in the areas of health and wellness, education and the environment.